Monday 7th December 2015 – 8pm – Chris Kowalik.
A Newport man who collapsed while running on a treadmill and suffered a cardiac arrest has survived because the gym he was in had a defibrillator.
Last October, staff at Newport Swimming Pool sprung into action, giving 47 year old Steve Price CPR and applying the machine that can restart the heart of someone who suffers a cardiac arrest.
Less than two months later, Steve was back at the centre to thank the two staff members involved and meet one of the ambulance crew who attended to him at the time.
Pictured left-to-right: Harriet Harvey-Bebbington, Tony Womersley, Steve Price, John Young.
Pictures: West Midlands Ambulance Service
Steve said: “I was on the treadmill doing a bit of interval training. I just blanked out and can’t remember a great deal after that. I do remember coming round and they were saying to me ‘Steve, save your breath’ and the next thing I knew I was at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.”
Steve had been seen at Princess Royal and Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals before being transferred to Royal Stoke University Hospital where he had a triple heart by-pass operation. Hoping to return to training next year, he said: “I feel 110% better. Hopefully there’s no damage to the heart and I can get on with a normal active life.”
The two staff members involved, Duty Officer John Young and Lay Assistant Harriet Harvey-Bebbington recalled the events of less than two months ago. Harriet said: “I remember a lady coming to the desk while I served a customer saying that a gentleman had just collapsed in the gym. I then got the attention of my colleague who was on poolside to come over as quickly as he could and bring the defib. I had rung for the ambulance at that point. At the point of John arriving, the gentleman had stopped breathing. John started CPR and I set up the defib.” John added: “I canonly emphasise how important the first aid training is. The defib on site I think is the biggest hero here. These are very valuable and important things to have around because they save lives.”
Picture: West Midlands Ambulance Service
The value of the defibrillator was reinforced by West Midlands Ambulance Service Clinical Team Mentor Tony Womersley who also praised the work of the pool’s staff: “There’s a known thing within the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest scene which is the ‘chain of survival’. The staff here did the first three links which are early recognition, early CPR and defibrillation and that’s what ensured his survival. It’s thanks to them.”
Steve reflected: “To think that the defibrillator and the members and staff saved my life is quite special. I owe them a great deal. Thank-you to everyone for saving my life. “